The current revolution in AI kicked off by ChatGPT, OpenAI, and other AI innovations, is already changing everything about the way we work. Will it be the end of your job too? The short answer is yes... and no.
AI is coming for your job. No, seriously. Just 2 years ago, people were writing articles about how AI could never replace some human creative jobs, but those days are over. As research continues on the field of artificial intelligence and with the recent new breakthroughs in AI, we can see with certainty that the end is nigh. Not the end of the world of course, but the end of life as we know it. Within the next 10 to 20 years, there is a good chance that AI will replace a large portion or even the majority of all information and creative jobs.
Artificial intelligence cannot replace every job – yet. But given enough time, it could in theory replace almost every job in every industry in the world. But in all practicality, it won’t replace all of them. There are some threats to AI that will prevent it from ever fully replacing humanity, and this is humanity itself. The creators of AI teach AI how to operate, so when it comes to idealism, creators of AI will and already are imposing their personal and religious views on AI, which others will disagree with. Because of this, those who disagree with the ideologies of AI developers will create new job markets for AI-free workers. But this is likely to be in the minority, if history has taught us anything.
AI is on the brink of replacing not only all writers, but also all copyeditors as well. In fact, there will be no need to have any writers, except for the few purists who want to read what is written by humans. Yet, it will be impossible to distinguish between the two. While I did honestly write this article myself without any AI assistance, in a few years it will be impossible to distinguish whether it was written by AI or a human. Because of this, there will be virtually no need for human writers.
Most creative jobs will be largely eliminated by AI
Writers will largely be replaced by AI, but not all of them. AI will be able to generate compelling novels and stories. While there will be a market for novelists, AI will be able to generate a million novels in seconds, without any need for human editors, while it will take one human novelist months or even years to generate one book.
Will all novelists be replaced by AI though? Not in the foreseeable future. Why? Because even though AI can advance a lot, there is something about the human experience that AI can replicate well, but not fully replace. The very ability of AI to fully replace human writers to generate unlimited novels prohibits its use, because there is not unlimited hours for humans to consume unlimited works. And the meaninglessness of AI’s potential to create, and the accessibility of AI, means that AI will produce itself out of the market.
AI will be able to create art, and already can, which is more beautiful than most humans could ever dream of. Humans can take a lifetime to master art, and even then will only be able to come close to AI, because AI can study all the art of the best artists in history, and not only create new art in their exact style that could fool even counterfeit experts, but also it could invent new expert art that blends the styles of the best artists in history.
Music is not safe either. Even years ago, AI was composing new music in the form of the masters like Beethoven and Bach. Just like painters and other artists, AI can generate music that is novel, original, and beautiful, better than any human could do even when spending a lifetime doing it.
What AI cannot replace is the human experience of actually doing the art, or the thrill of achievement. Yet, it can take away from some of this by making it seen meaningless if a computer can generate it in an instant better than they could do with a lifetime of learning and practicing. But the AI will never be able to put the years of pleasure from creation and artistic work into the person’s brain.
The AI revolution forces us to question the meaning of life
There is also another element to human life that goes beyond the pure creation and consumption of artistic works. Humanity does not live in a vacuum. It is not mindless creation and consumption of artistic works that makes people pursue careers and admire artists. There is something that goes beyond the mere creativity and pleasure of art that one could only ascribe to the soul of Man being imposed on the world. There is something metaphysical, something supernatural, something even esoteric about the expression and consumption of artistic works. AI has no soul, and can never replicate this.
Because of this, one could say that AI lacks a soul in creation, because it has no soul. While it can replicate the masters very closely, they can only expand what one could call the soul of the original creators, or give the impression of the masters or even new people that never existed. But could it fully replace the spirit of a human creator? It could certainly do a lot of damage and replace most of them, but if there truly is something metaphysical, then either AI itself would have to become a living being, which will never happen; or AI will never be able to replace the human spirit that is evident of the creators when consuming content.
One could certainly come close, but imagine that there is more depth to the world than the movement of atoms. Imagine there is a deeper level to the world that connects people. Without this human connection, an AI, being a soulless machine, could only replace and take away from the world of Man. It could not fully replace it. Because if we are connected on a deep and metaphysical level, on a spiritual level, then it means there is more to producing content than the content itself. This is what AI cannot replace.
The AI revolution that is upon us necessitates the discussion of the esoteric, the supernatural, the spiritual. Because if there is a spiritual world which is interconnected with but yet not part of our physical world, then this is something that is vital to life, and which AI can never replace. And if there is something that AI can never replace, then this is necessary to consider when you think about the meaning of life, and work, when AI and advanced robotics could replace everything, even people.
Could artificial intelligence replace humans?
There is a science fiction series which is about AI machines that become so advanced that they replicated humans so well they could not be distinguished from real humans, inside or out. AI will never advance to this point, but the principle here is the question about the meaning of life, whether there is life after death, whether we have a spirit or soul, and whether a machine could really replace humans.
If we are merely atoms interacting in the universe, then an advanced enough AI is no less alive than us. But if we have a soul that is outside of this universe, then AI will always be a dead invention, a soulless machine, which can only replicate but not replace the full function of a human. Even if a perfect android was created that looked, moved, and functioned indistinguishable from humans, if there really is a deeper existence that goes beyond the physical and into the metaphysical, then AI will never be able to go there.
If we have a soul, a metaphysical existence, that is part of who we are, then it means that there is something more to us than the physical, and it means that we interact with one another on a level that goes beyond the interaction with us and a machine. A machine cannot love, because there is a higher, energy, one might say, that AI cannot touch. While one could love themselves in such a way, even with a perfect android, they would be truly alone without the presence of another human being.
Is any job safe from being replaced by AI?
While this article took a metaphysical turn, as it needs to because AI forces us to contemplate whether life has meaning at all – and it does, if you believe we are more than mere machines and atoms and molecules; the more pressing concern is whether we can ever have a job that is not safe from AI. Certain industries such as Social Services, educators, therapists – industries which require human interaction and the human touch – these will not be able to be fully replaced by AI, although they can all be revolutionized by it.
Social services, psychologists, and healthcare workers can be largely supplemented by AI, but there will always be a demand for human connection that AI cannot replace. But that is only for in-person workers, human-facing workers, because much of the current tasks done by humans can be replaced by AI. Eventually, many in-person services will be able to be replaced by AI.
Eventually, given enough time, all work can be replaced by AI and robotics, but it won’t. And while over the next couple of decades, many jobs in many industries will be replaced by artificial intelligence, many of these jobs will not be in danger anytime soon. Jobs like manager, executive managers, CEOs, human resource managers, and more can be replaced by AI on some levels eventually, but not anytime soon.
However, all of these are in danger of being replaced not directly, but indirectly. Just like in-person therapists can be replaced by chat bots, likewise companies can be restructured to remove human-facing components to allow digital replacements. And some jobs like management can be automated in different ways. But we are still a ways off from this. And yet, many of the jobs will be eliminated because there is no one to manage, because the people they were managing were replaced by AI. So, there are definitely threats to every industry.
For now, AI is good at low-level tasks that can be automated, but not high-level tasks. Because of this, almost every industry is not at risk of being fully replaced, although it will be augmented by AI. While industries will not be fully replaced by AI, some such as programmers, developers, and designers will be completely devastated. We are leaving a golden age of tech jobs where people could apply their brains to easily get a well-paid information job, and we are leaving the information age and going into a new meta age. I can only describe it as meta, because there will be information jobs, but they will be servicing AI that will do the information jobs that exist today.
Eventually, the only jobs available might be those working on and servicing AI. If a robot breaks, someone has to fix it. Yet, AI and helper robots can fix themselves, so there may be no need for that eventually either. But that is a long way off, probably far outside of our lifetimes.
Should you change your career or education because of AI?
But what should you do today? What if you are choosing a career path? What should you start doing? Or what if you are planning a career change? There is no need to worry just yet, but you should remain flexible and realize that things are going to change, and your job is going to change in the coming years. Remember that life is more than doing a job. The job you do is more than the work involved, it is the experience of doing it. So what you should choose is something that is valuable to society, and which you enjoy doing.
Trades are also mostly safe, for now. There will always be a need for plumbers, and we won’t have robots operating heavy machines doing construction work any time soon. And even though we already have the ability to automate most construction work, there are still construction workers. Most in-person trades such as electricians, repairmen, concrete pourers, and machine operators, are not soon at risk of being replaced by AI. But not only trades, but also many information jobs will also be safe, but they may be different than they are today.
While many jobs will be replaced by AI, it is impossible to know for sure whether your job is going to be replaced in your lifetime, or simply augmented by it. Since it is impossible to be psychic, the best thing you can think about is either trade-related jobs, or higher-level jobs. Even programmers will not become obsolete, but their jobs will change. There won’t really be a need for front-end developers or logo designers anymore. There will be AI services that can do this instantly and cheaper than even the lowest-cost human workers. But developing high-level applications, integrated networks, and other high-level tasks, will not be fully automated anytime soon.
Will AI end the world and life as we know it?
What you should think about with AI is that many will lose their jobs, but the types of jobs will change. When the industrial revolution hit, people thought there would be no jobs left because machines could do all the jobs. This was before computers. Yet, even today, with AI and machines, people still have jobs. Why? For many reasons that extends beyond the scope of this article, but generally, many of the jobs changed, and even for tasks that could be automated by machines, it is either too expensive or harder to get a machine to do it than to get a human to do it.
Some of these jobs were replaced. There are no more manual telephone operators, for example. But there are telecommunications workers. And there are entire new industries of jobs that did not exist during the industrial revolution. The same will happen with AI. Some jobs will be eliminated, and new jobs will replace them. And there will be entirely new industries revolving around higher-level tasks that were not even possible before AI took over many of the routine tasks that are currently handled by humans. So you won’t be unemployed, but you might end up having to learn a new job or learn new ways to do your current job when it becomes augmented with AI.
Overall, yes, your job may be at risk of being replaced or changed by AI, but it will not be the end of the world, any more than the industrial revolution replaced the world. Many more things at a higher level than simple machines will be able to be automated by AI, but many more even higher level things will not be replaced by AI or machines, and will require human workers. There will be new industries, and new jobs.
But by AI being able to replace jobs that we hold dear will force us to consider what really matters in life. It is very similar to the industrial revolution, however, and with many of the same pitfalls. Before the industrial revolution, there were trades. Gold workers would make jewelry by hand. Knife makers would learn for a lifetime to make the perfect knife. Blacksmiths would make tools by hand. Today, we plop some metal into a machine and it makes it for us, no blacksmith or goldsmith needed. The quality is not as good, yes, but it could be, given enough advancement in technology. So what do blacksmiths and goldsmiths do today? Some create companies, and others have different various jobs. They don’t do the same type of job as their ancestors. Some became graphic designers or web developers.
Likewise, creative workers in information technology will change. Graphic designers will mostly disappear. Web developers will mostly disappear. But even though we can print out a Picasso or a Van Gogh from our home printer, people still pay for live art made by real artists. But certainly not as many. There will still be some graphic designers and web developers, but not as many. Those people will find different jobs in new markets.
Humans are innovative, and with new technology comes new jobs to replace the old ones. There will never be a world without jobs, there will only be a world with different jobs. While the fourth industrial revolution, as it has so been called, will radically transform the world, it will not eliminate the chance to get a job and provide a livelihood for you and your family. It will only change what that entails.